Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus
 

Deacon John Christopher Lourduswamy
Defends His Baccalaureate Thesis

 
 


1 June 2016 STS – Jerusalem
By: Adam Dupré, SDB

On the morning of June 1, 2016, Deacon John Christopher Lourduswamy defended his Bachelor of Theology thesis, entitled, “The Word of God as Revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures and Incarnated in the New Testament leads and empowers the Church in her mission.”  Sitting on the defense panel examining the thesis of Deacon Lourduswamy were, Rev. Biju Michael, SDB, President, Rev. Leopold Vonck, M. Afr who served as the Tutor and Rev. Andrej Toczyski, SDB who served as Reader.

Deacon Lourduswamy began the 10-minute presentation of his thesis by thanking his tutor for helping him in his work. His synthesis comprises three chapters wherein he speaks of the theological ideas of revelation, the Word of God, Salvation History, Soteriology and other things.  Next, he speaks of the revelation of God in the personal experience of a person, a particular encounter of each individual.  God’s word is the revealed truth. The Gospels have a privileged place because they are the written record of Jesus’ teachings and actions. The mission of the Church began with the Incarnation and is moving on even today.

The first examiner on the defense panel was Fr. Pol Vonck, Tutor to Deacon Lourduswamy; he commented that the Deacon’s choice of topic for his thesis was truly “all-encompassing”, concerning all his studies that were needed in order to write his paper. Fr. Vonck called the work an “unfinished symphony”, a work that inspires others to study the topic more deeply. The question that Fr. Vonck enquired of Deacon Lourduswamy was, “Distinguish between revelation, Word of God and the Bible.” Deacon Lourduswamy answered masterfully. He answered very well and cited from Dei Verbum in showing the distinguishing work of the Word of God and Revelation, while maintaining the fact that all three are integrally intertwined. 

The next examiner on the defense panel was Fr. Andrej Toczyski, Reader of Deacon Lourduswamy’s thesis, and he posed this question: “What is the relationship between written scripture and the living tradition of the Church?” Deacon Lourduswamy responded that Scripture and Tradition of the Church are vitally important in the Church. He quoted Chapter 1 of St John’s Epistle as well as Dei Verbum and spoke of how tradition developed into the Sacred Scripture. Furthering his defense, he answered that both tradition and scripture are the wellspring of God for the salvation of souls.

Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael, President of the defense panel, asked several questions while referring to many pages from the Deacon’s thesis work.  Fr. Biju Michael asked if there was any way for the Deacon to distinguish between preaching and teaching. The Deacon answered well, citing that preaching is the initial announcement of the mystery and the teaching is a further development in support of that initial proclamation.

After a short recess, the Bachelor of Theology defense panel met and deliberated and then finally awarded Deacon John Christopher Lourduswamy, SDB, the Bachelor of Theology degree.

Deacon Lourduswamy is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate on July 9, 2016 in Chennai by the Most Rev. Soundararaju, D. D.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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